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you have seen him confined in a dungeon, shut out from the common use of air, and of his own limbs-that day after day you had marked the unhappy captive, cheered by no sounds but the cries of his family or the clinking of chains that you had seen him at last brought to his trial-that you had seen the vile and perjured informer deposing against his life-that you had seen the drunken, and worn-out, and terrified jury give in a verdict of death-that you had seen the jury, when their returning sobriety had brought back their consciences, prostrate themselves before the humanity of the bench, and pray that the mercy of the crown might save their characters from the reproach of an involuntary crime, their consciences from the torture of eternal self-condemnation, and their souls from the indelible stain of innocent blood. Let me suppose that you had seen the respite given, and that contrite and honest recommendation transmitted to that seat where mercy was presumed to dwell-that new and unheard of crimes are discovered against the informer-that the royal mercy seems to relent, and that a new respite is sent to the prisoner, that time is taken, as the learned counsel for the crown has expressed it, to see whether mercy could be extended or not-that after that period of lingering deliberation passed, a third respite is transmitted—that the unhappy captive himself feels the cheering hope of being restored to a family he adored, to a character he had never stained, and to a country he had ever loved that you had seen his wife and children upon their knees, giving those tears to gratitude which their locked and frozen hearts could not give to anguish and despair, and imploring the blessings of Providence upon his head, who had graciously spared the father, and restored him to his children—that you had seen the olive branch sent into his little ark, but no sign that the waters had subsided. Alas! nor wife nor children more

Shall he behold, nor friends nor sacred home!'

No seraph mercy unbars his dungeon, and leads him forth to light and life; but the minister of death hurries him to the scene of suffering and of shame; where, unmoved by the hostile array of artillery and armed men, collected together to secure, or to insult, or to disturb him, he dies with a solemn declaration of his innocence, and utters his last breath in a prayer for the liberty of his country. Let me now ask you, if any one of you had addressed the public ear upon so foul and monstrous a subject, in what language would you have conveyed the feelings of horror and indignation? Would you have stooped to the meanness of qualified complaints?" (p. 190.)

Soon after the termination of this trial, the eventful year of 1798 was ushered in. In consequence of the excitement of the times, and truly eventful times they were, Curran, though he had studiously avoided identifying himself with the political movements of the day, was "certainly marked out by the adherents of the government as particularly obnoxious, and many there were who would with

pleasure have seen him ascending the scaffold he was every day depriving of its almost predestined victims." And as he likewise suffered at this period under severe personal indisposition, and extreme lowness of spirits, it was considered advisable that he should retire for a short period to England to recruit his health. Here once more the idea of emigration to America, and living there in peace and retirement, started into existence; he subsequently alluded to this intention with evident feelings of sorrow, at having entertained for a moment the thought of deserting his country in the hour of her necessity. We must refer our readers to the work itself (page 203) for the expression of those sentiments delivered with an anxious desire to atone for that "infidel despair."

Soon after his return to Ireland, Mr. Curran again gave a fresh instance of his "spirit, disinterestedness, and intrepidity," in moving for a writ of habeas corpus, to delay the execution of Wolfe Tone who had been just convicted and sentenced to death by a court-martial. To our minds, the earnestness of Curran; the generous indignation of Lord Kilwarden's constitutional mind; and the excitement arising from the peculiar circumstances of the case, contribute to make the following scene one of the most interesting in Mr. Phillips's work.

"I do not pretend," began Curran, "that Mr. Tone is not guilty of the charge of which he is accused; I presume the officers were honourable men; but it is stated in this affidavit, as a solemn fact, that Mr. Tone had no commission under his Majesty, and therefore no court-martial could have cognizance of any crime imputed to him, whilst the Court of King's Bench sate in the capacity of the great criminal court of the land. In times when war was raging, when man was opposed to man in the field, court-martials might be endured; but every law authority is with me, while I stand upon the sacred and immutable principle of the constitution, that martial law and civil law are incompatible, and that the former must cease with the existence of the latter. This is not, however, the time for arguing this momentous question. My client must appear in this court. He is cast for death this very day. He may be ordered for execution whilst I address you. I call on the court to support the law, and move for a writ of habeas corpus, to be directed to the Provost-marshal of the barracks and Major Sandys, to bring up the body of Tone.

"CHIEF JUSTICE.-Have a writ instantly prepared.

"CURRAN.-My client may die while the writ is preparing.

“CHIEF JUSTICE.-Mr. Sheriff, proceed to the barracks, and acquaint

the Provost-marshal that a writ is preparing to suspend Mr. Tone's execution, and see that he be not executed.

"In a short time, the Sheriff having returned, thus addressed the Court: My Lord, I have been to the barracks in pursuance of your order, the Provost-marshal says he must obey Major Sandys; Major Sandys says he must obey Lord Cornwallis.'

At this time Mr. Curran announced the return of Tone's father, with a message that General Craig refused to obey the writ of habeas corpus.

"CHIEF JUSTICE.-Mr. Sheriff, take the body of Tone into custody; take the Provost-marshal and Major Sandys into custody; and show the order of the court to General Craig."-(p. 216.)

Passing over the trial of the Sheares, and the melancholy events of that tragic year, we are led to the consideration of that " gigantic scheme" of political fraud, the Act of Union. It is hardly necessary to state that Curran's opinions and sentiments were opposed to the passing of that measure; he saw its necessary consequences and inevitable results. In the year 1796 he stated that " a Union with Great Britain would be the emigration of every man of consequence from Ireland. It would be the extinction of the Irish name as a people. We should become a wretched colony, governed by a few tax collectors and excisemen, unless possibly you may add fifteen or twenty couple of Irish members, who might be found every session sleeping in their collars under the manger of the British minister." (p. 244.) The experience of years has established the truth of this prophecy; and it is only left us now to lament, that the words of the poet are applicable to Curran

."dei jussu, non unquam credita Teucris."

But though no one can, even for a moment, defend the means whereby, or the unseemly haste with which, the Act of Union was passed through the Irish Houses of Parliament; though no one can justify in any case an act of suicide or gross breach of trust; yet we agree fully with Mr. Phillips in thinking, that that measure cannot be now reconsidered with a view to its repeal.

"Can it be doubted (says Mr. Phillips) that where a fertile soil, a salubrious climate, unworked mines, wasted water-force, abundant fisheries, and every temptation to commercial enterprise, invite British investment, capital would long ago have filled the land with happiness and plenty, were it not for the wild and wicked war-whoop which warns it away? With the attainment of Roman Catholic Emancipation agitation should have ceased

in Ireland; and until it does cease, the country must retrograde. He who can educate Ireland into this truth, will be her real patriot, her best benefactor. No Repeal is wanted.”—(p. 243.)

And again, after describing the venality of the Irish members, and "plebeian peers" of that period, he writes

"Who can recollect the returns consequent on the Emancipation Actwho can even now behold the iron despotism openly influencing every Irish election, and doubt for a moment of what materials their parliament would be composed, or by whom it would be packed, or what unhallowed acts it would be compelled to perpetrate? No, no: honest representatives can well serve their country in an English senate should they feel so disposed; and of the dishonest, to sell it in a native one, we have had enough.”— (p. 256.)

These are the sentiments of Mr. Phillips, written in the year 1850, and with them we fully agree. As we are on the subject of the Union, we cannot forbear, numerous as have been our quotations, from referring to the eloquent address of the present Lord Plunket, when that measure came before the consideration of the house-

"Sir," said Mr. Plunket on the Union debate, "I thank the adminstration for this measure. They are, without intending it, putting an end to our dissensions. Through the black cloud which they have collected over us, I see the light breaking in upon this unfortunate country. They have composed our dissensions, not by fomenting the embers of a lingering and subdued rebellion-not by hallooing Protestant against Catholic, and Catholic against Protestant-not by committing the north against the southnot by inconsistent appeals to local or to party prejudices-no!—but by the avowal of this atrocious conspiracy against the liberties of Ireland, they have subdued every petty and substantive distinction; they have united every rank and description of men, by the pressure of this grand and momentous subject; and I tell them, that they will see every honourable and independent man in Ireland rally round the constitution, and merge every other consideration in opposition to this ungenerous and odious measure. For my part, I will resist it to the last gasp of my existence and with the last drop of my blood; and when I feel the hour of my dissolution approaching, I will, like the father of Hannibal, take my children to the altar, and swear them to eternal hostility against the invaders of their country's freedom. Sir, I shall not detain you by pursuing this question through the topics which it so abundantly offers. I should be proud to think my name should be handed down to posterity in the same roll with those disinterested patriots who have successfully resisted the enemies of their country-successfully, I trust it

VOL. I.-NO. I.


will be. In all events I have my exceeding great reward. I shall bear in my heart the consciousness of having done my duty; and in the hour of death I shall not be haunted by the reflection of having basely sold or meanly abandoned, the liberties of my native land. Can every man who gives his vote this night on the other side, lay his hand upon his heart and make the same declaration? I hope so: it will be well for his own peace. The indignation and abhorrence of his countrymen will not accompany him through life, and the curses of his children will not follow him to his grave. I in the most express terms deny the competency of Parliament to do this act. I warn you, do not dare to lay your hands on the constitution. I tell you that if, circumstanced as you are, you pass this act, it will be a nullity, and that no man in Ireland will be bound to obey it."(p. 292.)

After the Act of Union was consummated, and during the temporary peace of 1802, Curran visited Paris. Here also, "his temper was soured, and he saw everything with a jaundiced eye," and after a short absence, returned to Ireland. Shortly after his return he was engaged as counsel for the plaintiff in the celebrated case of Hevey v. Sirr; an action for false imprisonment. For the circumstances of this extraordinary trial, we must refer to Mr. Phillips's work. We scarcely remember to have ever read a case, where the facts disclose so gross a violation of every principle of constitutional justice. There is but one case only, as far at least as we are aware, which admits of comparison, and which, as Mr. Phillips has not referred to, we will shortly notice. Mr. Wright, a teacher of the French language, resided at Clonmel; he was a quiet, inoffensive man, and assiduously avoided all transactions which might render himself obnoxious to the government; and was, moreover, employed professionally by several families of the highest respectability and distinction in the neighbourhood. In fact, Mr. Wright was the very last person in the world to engage in treasonable designs. Mr. Fitzgerald, the defendant in the action, was a magistrate; and Wright having heard that some charges of a seditious nature were made against him, and naturally feeling anxious to anticipate his accuser, and establish his own innocence, proceeded to Mr. Fitzgerald's residence, in order, if possible, to convince him of the falseness of the charges which were made against him. Mr. Fitzgerald was out on the occasion of his first visit, but on the following day finding him at home, Mr. Wright, in the presence of a

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